Oakville Homes

August 20, 2012

Networking – Developer’s tool using inside knowledge.

Networking.  For those who have achieved success in their respective careers, they understand the necessity and power of networking in making them a success.  Starts in school with “hanging around” the right people and, once you move on, keep the friendships alive.  These contacts are worth their weight in gold in terms of acquiring work, expanding careers, developing sources of wealth acquisition and, keeping in touch with a broader network.

These networks can be of great value to you as an individual but can hurt those of us affected by these links.  Especially when they involve politics and power.  We know one very popular mayor who seems to have accumulated wealth through inside knowledge of certain land developments.  Over the years, this networking worked out very well in terms of family profit.  But, that empire is crumbling.

Mattamy Homes has done very well in the Halton development arena.  They hired the once arrested, ex-chair of Halton Region and it may have given Mattamy the inside edge in terms of development – in Halton at least.

Mattamy Homes has moved into the Ottawa area big time.  They have had their issues – illegal berms and non-issued permits for houses already sold.

I understand that to beef up their networking and power structure in the Ottawa area they have hired as a project manager, someone who used to work for the city planning dept.   A councillor’s assistant quit & went to consult for Mattamy as well.  Both would have inside knowledge and contacts that will assist Mattamy to push plans through.  Possibly to the detriment of the local community who are only voters and concerned citizens, not donators.

When, as a concerned citizen who volunteers your time on certain committees at city hall, you quickly understand there is a voice and then there is a VOICE.  Your input will be heard but, in the big scheme of things, will probably not be acted upon unless you can show that by not listening, a politician may be embarassed later.  Otherwise big money will talk and get what they want.  Just talk to some of those who have gone on certain committees and how they feel about their input.

I found that when I presented information concerning illegal acts to the Administrative Committee in Oakville concerning Mattamy, the public audience was interested and the committee was more concerned about burying it.  Even the mayor showed up and tried to direct my complaint away.  She finally let it go to Council, where it was quickly diverted to another level of government, fully knowing nothing would be done.  One councillor was even elected to the province but did nothing when he arrived.  Guess he forgot about passing the motion to have it sent to the province to have things done.

So, for those watching development in their communities, watch the hiring practices of local developers and you will see which way the planning will go.  And watch the donations – very informative.

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June 14, 2012

Mattamy Mission Statement – Gilgan fluff for the peons.

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Truth. Fairness. Accuracy.  What one would expect in advertising.  Not always achieved but, there are laws which are sometimes enforced to ensure we aren’t being bamboozled entirely.  Oprah Winfrey found out what it is like to support a book (“A Million Little Pieces,”  – author James Frey) which had the truth stretched a bit but, she did the decent thing and apologized.  But, she felt the sting from her fans who put their trust in her name.

Speaking of trust in a name.  A lot of people think Mattamy and quality are the same thing, only to find that the ads aren’t all they seem to be.  Although it is noted you don’t find quality advertised.

But you do see it mentioned in their Mission Statement et al.  Take a trip to the Mattamy Homes website for their Mission and Values statement, if you want a laugh.  I guess the advertising laws don’t apply to company websites.  The proverbial “buyer beware” stands out here.

MISSION

  • The Best Homeowner Experience

Well, we all know that certainly didn’t apply to me and from reading my blog, you know there are people out there who spit on that one.  How about all those people who tried to buy a home in Ottawa, only to be told wait and see and then finally – sorry, but no home for you.

VALUES

      • Commitment: We will ensure excellence is the standard for everything we do.

Excellence and quality to me mean the same thing.  Selling a house with illegal wiring – is that excellence. Not insulating bay windows is considered excellence by Mattamy?  How about just putting on some paint to stop a piece of wood rotting – temporarily until after warranty?  I guess in the Mattamy world, excellence has a different meaning.  Gilgan in Wonderland maybe?

VALUES

  • Teamwork: We will respect and support each other in doing what is right.

What is right for whom?  They certainly supported each other when dealing with my issue.  Even the bully boys came in a team. But, the team came first – including the Town of Oakville back-up building inspection team.  Seems the homebuyer is not part of any team, unless you bring your own.  A house inspector as coach would be nice.

VALUES

  • Community: We will have a positive impact in all of our communities. Our community involvement is all about having an impact, not merely playing a role. And it refers to all communities – whether they are neighbourhoods, cities or professional bodies.

Positive impact – sounds like the plague.  Not sure what they mean here.  Is it when they do illegal berm building in Ottawa (got charged and plead guilty on that one) or when they start construction on land fertilized by human waste (Halton – Milton) or, when they allow historical buildings under their care to be burnt to the ground?  Or, is it looking after the community with donations after politicians cover up reports or push the matter off to the side where nothing will be done?  Is it hiring ex-politicians and staff members to assist in developing a community?  You know – having that extra little bit of help to ensure there are no ripples.  Didn’t seem to work in Ottawa and, the guy they got in Halton – thought bringing workers to protest development charges and not telling they why was alright.  Kind of like a plantation owner driving his slaves to town just for show but doesn’t care if they know why or not. They don’t really matter.  Guess not part of the important team.

I’ve been involved in the development of strategic plans, along with the Mission and Value statements.  Normally they are supposed to mean something to the organization, the workers, stakeholders and customers.  But anyone can put together some useless words.  I know Gilgan probably thinks my words are useless – true but useless.  But, I feel they have more truth that the Mattamy Mission Statement.  And least in my case and, the case of a number of others.

Peter – the truth is out there.  You just have to find it.  Your Mission Statement doesn’t even come close.  But then I guess your Bay Street lawyers have already told you – it’s not advertising so don’t worry even if it is bullshit.

P.S.  For the Bay Street lawyers – this is an opinion piece on Mattamy’s Mission Statement based on facts.  Gilgan may disagree but, his company has made the bed they lie in.  Any untruths, please bring to my attention.

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February 14, 2012

Builders/developers – anyone out there with ethics?

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We’ve read the stories regarding unethical builders and how some will rip off the homebuyer and not think anything of it.  I guess to some it is a good business plan that increases profits.  We’ve also read about how building inspectors have been “influenced” by developers and builders.  Some builders/developers have been caught doing illegal things in the building of homes and terra-forming the land.  Mattamy comes to mind as one developer/builder who was charged and convicted of an environmental crime in the Ottawa area.  Building berms etc without getting permission.  I guess when you’re that big, you think you can do what you want.

Here is another case of builder ethics:

Toronto Police Service News Release

Man charged with attempting to bribe a City of Toronto Inspector
Friday, February 10, 2012 – 11:27 AM Financial Crimes Unit 416-808-7300
On Friday, February 10, 2012, police arrested a man in connection with an attempted bribery investigation.
It is alleged that:
– on Thursday, January 12, 2012, the site superintendent of a residential construction project attempted to bribe a City of Toronto Building Services Inspector to overlook a required fire safety device inside the home
Andriy Donchenko, 27, of Toronto, has been charged with:
1) Giving Benefit to an Official
He is scheduled to appear in court at College Park, on Monday, March 19, 2012, at 2 p.m., room 505.

– – – – – – – – –

So, as you can see, builders are still trying to make shortcuts and pay off building inspectors.  In this case, one got caught.  Whether the building inspector turned him in or something else happened, it still shows that you, the homebuyer, is open to unscrupulous activity when it comes to your home being built.  And, you have little control over it.

In my case, a Town of Oakville building inspector allowed a furnace to be marked authorized, even though it was connected to the house next door.  Now, Mr. Bay Street Lawyer, I’m not saying that Mattamy bribed him but it seems odd that when it was reported, the Mayor of Oakville did nothing in the long run.  An investigation did occur but the findings were buried, the lawyers closed everyone up and, I didn’t even get an apology from the Town nor any information that changes were made to prevent this from happening to other people.  An illegal act was committed by Mattamy and nothing was done.  And, Wellspring still got their donation.

All Facts.

From this you can of course assume one thing – you really won’t have any support from anyone unless you hire a professional house inspector yourself to look after your interests.  Something the Town of Oakville and the Province of Ontario really don’t want to address in legislation.

Why?  Who makes all the big donations.  And, according to the press release, who makes the bribes.

At least in the above news release, the homeowner’s interests were protected by the Police.  A group you normally don’t expect in a house buying experience.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

July 22, 2011

McGuinty vs Hudak – who will be favoured by the developers?

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You can take this to the bank – there is a financial link between some developers and some politicians.

It can swing from donations to their war chest (campaign funds), donations to a favourite charity or cause or, just some spending money in their pocket.  A Google search will bring up the dirty laundry.  You will find that investigations have occurred in many jurisdiction, York and Halton being only two of a large number.

In the recent municipal elections in Ontario, campaign donations were a topic and voters were concerned just who was being supported financially by developers.  Some politicians even went so far as to deny any link to developers but we all know there was some kind of link.  Facts.

Lets face it – development is big, big money and developers want to maximize their profits like any other business person.  Problem is, some just don’t know where to draw the line.  And, once the money flows, like any business person, they expect a positive return on the money.  I think no one would say that someone investing in the future shouldn’t be rewarded but I do think they question how.

A community is not just a collection of streets and buildings.  A well planned community reflects those who live there and how they feel about their community.  A dirty community usually means there are underlying issues that need to be dealt with.  CPTED is just one way of ensuring a community grows in a desirable manner.

Developers and planners have a part in this.

Wrongly developed, and the community can suffer crime trends, economic hardships and a number of issues that make the place unattractive.  The developers don’t mind – they got their money and have moved on.

Everyone accepts taxes – we just don’t like them and, if they are oppressive, we try to change the issues that are causing the high taxes.  If you’ve read my blog, you know the issues in Halton – taxpayer funded water pipe to Milton and development charges.

A number of communities decided that the taxpayer was shovelling out too much money for the support of developer initiated infrastructure costs.  Development charges were levied to correct this unfair burden on the taxpayer.  Unfortunately, the development community went to war and got changes made.  Recently BILD celebrated the roll-back of development charges in several progressive communities.

Celebrating the increase of taxes upon the taxpayer actually.

Mattamy Homes and Peter Gilgan led the charge in Halton by trying to intimidate our elected officials with hordes of bused in workers and force them to reduce the development charges.  He failed but the BILD machine won with the developer favouring OMB.  I wonder just how much Mattamy Homes invested in supporting BILD in this matter?  And, did any politicians have a say in the matter -ones who had been favoured with a developer donation.

Provincially, the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act have a say in how a community will develop itself.  You, as a tax paying citizen do not have the final say on how your community will be developed.  No, the appointed OMB has that right.  But, you would think community input would have some say.  It seems that the community does support development charges but private interests will prevail.

We now have the provincial elections coming up in Ontario.  It appears it will be a slugfest between the reigning incumbant Dalton McGuinty (Liberal)and the challenger Tim Hudak (Conservative).

Remember, it is the province who can change the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act, along with the Green Energy Act and Environmental Protection Act.

Now, reviewing the past history of developers, who do you think they will support?  Who will receive the bulk of the money, declared and undeclared?

I can’t talk about all the developers but, some have shown in the past their feelings about certain laws.  Mattamy pooh-poohed the Building Code in my case, broke environmental laws in Milton and Ottawa and, I guess the Planning Act in Ottawa when they sold houses before they got permits.  We kind of know where they stand on these issues – proven fact.

Now we ask the question – who will Mattamy Homes and Peter Gilgan swing their support towards?  Someone who has been working under the aforementioned acts or, someone who may want to make some changes once in power.  Where will the political donations go – to whom?  What offers of support will be see in the future?  We’ve seen the support in the past to someone who stated there was no support from Peter.  Maybe it was only moral support?  As they say, there is no free lunch and thousands of dollars in donations are made with some expectation of payback to ensure profit.

But support is support.  And, just who will win then when it comes to making a decision – developers or tax-payers?  The OMB has shown its colours with the recent BILD supported attack on community development and the taxpayer.

I guess we will know the colours of those being elected when we see just who is handing out the money.  I doubt my $100 will get me preferential treatment and I know I can’t compete against millionaires and billionaires.  Neither can the taxpayer.

Methinks we will see more as the election campaigning unfolds………………………….

MORAL SUPPORT??

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

July 20, 2011

Mattamy isn’t overly environmentally friendly – proof in Ottawa.

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People buy homes based on a number of factors.  Some will chose due to location, community, style of home or, it is close to schools, friends or relatives.  Some, just buy to stay in the same neighbourhood that they grew up in.

Others use what they see in advertising, word of mouth, quality, awards and the fact they see a line up outside the sales office.  All will tickle someone’s fancy.

When it comes to house sales, it appears Mattamy is the largest seller of homes, according to some figures and their interpretation.  Mattamy once had a great reputation and people bought based on that.  I know it was one factor on why we bought a Mattamy.  They may be buying a lot of them but it can’t be based on quality if you look at all the complaints.

One thing is apparent – Mattamy spends a lot on PR.  Two page ads in the Star, donations that draw in media attention and other activities such as buying bus time in Milton seems to work for Mattamy in getting exposure.  Their PR department must be huge.  And they are proving that advertising can sell anything – even ice to the Inuit.

I only wish they would spend money in areas that would not only gain back their reputation for a well-built house (J.D. Powers in Ottawa dropped them to the bottom in Ottawa) but enhance their reputation as someone concerned about the environment.

Their destruction in Cambridge of the wetlands, construction on soil contaminated with human waste in Milton, building of illegal berms in Ottawa, poor land development in Bracebridge which ended in flooding and,  illegal wiring in Oakville all point to a company that does not seem overly concerned about their impact on the environment or the lives and safety of those living in the houses or near the construction.

Oh, their ads are cutsey and try to make them seem caring.  Even to the point that they built in Pickering and told everyone they could go out and hunt tadpoles.  Probably give kids magnifying glasses next as a house opening present and they can kill all the ants on their property.

No, I feel that Mattamy may be talking the talk with the advertising and making them seem to be more environmentally friendly but, in the long run, they are not overly concerned about the environment.  Lets face it – environmental concerns cost developers money.  I notice that one Mattamy VP quit and turned to politics – the Green Party, in response to how he felt Mattamy was impacting on the environment.

No, Mattamy needs to show a bit more concern.  According to the following Tweet I saw, Mattamy doesn’t understand the concept of Blue and Black boxes in Ottawa – where they are trying to resurrect the old Fairwinds project. (the one where they sold houses without official sanction and strung along people for a couple of years – holding onto their deposits)

WELCOME BACK TO OTTAWA MATTAMY – GREAT START  🙂

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

July 17, 2011

Will Gilgan’s BHAG affect the quality of your house?

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According to the Ottawa Citizen, Mattamy Homes has a new sheriff in town – specifically to revive the failed and jinxed Ottawa Fairwinds project.  In Mattamyspeak, they were held up by government red-tape.  In Realityspeak, they tried to sell houses when they had no permission to build.  Even if the government was slow, Mattamy was using what I would consider an unethical manner of salesmanship.

Pure Greed.

The new Sheriff – Bob Ridley, an “engineer who worked for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton before  setting up a consulting company and then moving up the executive ladder to  become vice-president of Minto Communities”.  Because of the economic downturn, he became available to Mattamy Homes.

Now, I have no comment on Bob but, I find it interesting he once worked for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton as an engineer.  Mattamy originally hired an ex-planner of Ottawa’s when they first began Fairwinds.  Now, there are concerns regarding flooding in the area and they hire an ex-Ottawa engineer.  Much like when they hired ex-Halton Chairman Pomeroy for their Halton concerns.  Seems they like to hire ex-government employees to enhance their company with the local governments.  One wonders for just what purpose and does it benefit the builder, electorate or taxpayer when they do this?

Who gets the shaft?

Remember, my case was dismissed while Mattamy gave money to Wellspring, a local concern of the mayor of Oakville.

“You really have to stay on top of customer service, make sure they are happy,  because in this age of Twitter and Facebook an unhappy client is never silent,”  notes Merkley” (president of the Home Builders Association).

I guess this is something Mattamy is finally beginning to realize.  In today’s world of rapid communication, it is hard to shaft people in isolation.  A tactic I am sure they depended on in the past but now, those of us who got the royal Gilgan shaft, are finding out we weren’t alone nor were we an oddity in Mattamy’s supposed high quality levels.

Even J.D. Powers woke up to the Mattamy quality scam.

” It didn’t help that Mattamy been recently lambasted by the influential J.D.  Power Group, which surveyed Ottawa buyers, asking them to rate their buying  experience. Mattamy landed at the bottom of the heap. (For the record, Monarch  was tops.)”

For those who are contemplating the Mattamy Dream and you’ve studied all the advertising and feel you will be safe.

Consider the past performance.

Mattamy has talked the talk but they haven’t perfected walking the walk.  Must have something to do with Gilgan’s BHAG.

Even Peter Gilgan sends out a warning about buying from him.

“A story last year in the Globe and Mail suggested Gilgan is on a mission for  Mattamy to be the best home-building brand in North America. “That’s my BHAG –  the big, hairy, audacious goal,” Gilgan said. “We wrote down that commitment  eight years ago and a BHAG typically takes 20 years to do it.”

Well, that’s Gilgan’s BHAG.

And he wants you to wait 20 years to see results.

They’ve had 8 years to perfect his BHAG but they still can’t get it right.  And he expects you, the homebuyer, to wait another 12 years for them to perfect quality.  Hey, I hate to say it Gilgan but, a lot of builders have had their BHAG perfected for years.  Look at Monarch – the company that got your trophy in Ottawa.

So, for those buying the newly advertised and polished Ottawa Mattamy Homes remember, they are still working on quality and other issues and if you want to help Gilgan get his BHAG right, then go ahead but, don’t say you weren’t warned.

If anything, I’d ask Mattamy if you could hire a house inspector (at your expense) to help them get Gilgan’s BHAG in better shape and maybe cut the timeline down a few years.  Cut it down enough so that you don’t have to worry about Gilgan’s BHAG. Oh, they’re talking about customer service reps but, just ask yourself.  Who do the customer service reps work for and just how far will they push for you?  Remember – they’d like to keep their job and you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Gilgan has hired an ex-Ottawa engineer to help with the Ottawa problems.  I suspect he is more of a land-use engineer and that might bode favourable in terms of maybe your basement will not leak but, what about all the other quality issues.  They also blamed the original mess on the fact their homes are so great that they sold them too fast and their infrastructure was not able to keep up the pace.  I would think a responsible company, one who has sold thousands of houses, would be able to judge how many to sell and how fast and thus ensure quality.  Obviously greed got in the way and they just sold to anyone coming in the door, even though a responsible company would know they couldn’t produce – especially when Ottawa had not told them they could build officially, with a permit.

Well, hopefully bringing in a local boy who knows the local government will help but I as a consumer will wonder about quality.  I saw what happened in Oakville when ex-employees had their finger in the pie.

If anything, hire a house inspector to ensure you get what you pay for.  Remember, Mattamy lost money in Ottawa over this and they will be looking for ways to get it back.  Shortcuts save money – just look at my issue.

PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT.

DEVELOP YOUR OWN TEAM. (lawyer, house inspector)

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

July 3, 2011

“One Day That Defines Us.” – Mattamy style

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That “One Day That Defines Us.” was the main point on the two page centre spread Mattamy ad in the Toronto Star.  Yes, they were talking about Canada Day – July 1st.  And, they even wish everyone a Happy Canada Day on behalf of the 50,000 Canadian Mattamy homeowners.

I doubt they included me in that figure or a bunch of others.

See, the “One Day That Defines Us.” was actually the closing day and PDI day some of us have had with Mattamy.  For me, it was all on one day.  Nice to put the bad news all together I guess.  This really defined what kind of company Mattamy really was in my books.  A company that donates money to places like the Town of Oakville and in return – nothing is done about some of the illegal acts they commit.

Take my illegal wiring for instance – please.  In order to sell the house they illegally wired the furnace to the house next door – that defined to me what kind of company Mattamy really was.  In Ottawa, they did illegal terra forming.  Bracebridge – built homes with flooding basements.  Cambridge – destroyed a wetland.

Yes, all these have “defined” the moment for me and others.

And, this is a company that got Peter Gilgan “Entrepreneur of the Year“, awarded by Ernst and Young.  One wonders just what kind of values some organizations value when they honour those who have done what I have described above.  Based on this, Al Capone should have received this award.  Even BILD gives out awards for quality when in fact we have a plethora of issues in terms of Mattamy quality.  Based on what I see with Mattamy quality, this must mean the other builders are REALLY BAD…..

Speaking of which.

Went to a party recently where most of the party goers were in fact Mattamy home owners.  Was not pretty.  Seems I’m not the only one who has received the sharp end of the Mattamy shaft.  Just the most vocal.  Sharing Mattamy horror stories was not conducive to the party mood.  I’m just glad I wasn’t the one who started the conversation.  They too find the Town of Oakville Building Department somewhat lax in dealing with Mattamy.

Oh well.  Hope you had a good Canada Day.

My good memories are certainly not defined by my Mattamy experience.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

June 29, 2011

Do onto others what Mattamy doesn’t want done to them. Mattamy creed?

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If you have been following the tales of Mattamy, you will have seen they have finally started to sell lots in the Fairwinds (Ottawa) area – the one where they sold lots to unsuspecting souls who believed the Saturday ads in the local paper and bought a lot only to find out that Mattamy did not have permission to build.  Couple of years later, those who had bought were given some choices, one of which was to buzz off.  Now, they did get their deposits, sans any interest but, by then prices for houses had risen.  Well, so sad, too bad for those people – and Mattamy moves on and is now selling those lots.

Myself, considering the flood concerns in that area which were brought up by qualified engineers (not accountants) and, the history of Mattamy in the Bracebridge area in terms of flood lands, I’d be double checking with everybody before I bought.  Either that, or see about buying a lifeboat for the backyard.  I think Fairwinds should be called “Titanic“. based on its maiden voyage into sales.

What I find interesting is that Mattamy wanted all concerned in the original Fairwinds to be understanding and allow them time to work out things (what – make donations somewhere) and they strung these people along for a couple of years.  Those people really gave Mattamy a fair chance to come across.  You’d think Mattamy would have learned a little more compassion from this but no.

Seems the world is expected to turn around “Mattamy Land” and dance to their tune.  It’s all or nothing for that bunch.  Yes, they’ve been caught a few times ruining the environment, putting children’s lives at risk but, they seem to get away with a lot (except for those charges in Ottawa for environmental damage) and, they run their business with little thought for those buying and their issues.  I’ve told the horror stories on these pages in the past and they reflect what I believe is the true character of this company.  Do other builders perform the same?  Glitzy ads that promise the world but you still get shafted.  I’ve heard some do and that is why weak-kneed Tarion was formed.

Well, what you are about to read is off the Complaint Board and reflects one side of a Mattamy horror story.  Mattamy is more than welcome to comment on this and give their side of the story.  Hopefully it won’t be some mouthpieces interpretation designed to protect all and any of Mattamy’s ills but actually a believable tale we might give credence to.  Given the breaks Mattamy has been given (like trying to kill my children with illegal wiring), you’d think they would help this guy out instead of crushing his dream.  You won’t see this in the Saturday ads in the Toronto Star.  Actually, as an advertiser, I doubt you will read much bad stuff about Mattamy in the Toronto Star.

Again Mattamy, I say if anything I have said isn’t true, just let me know and I’ll check it out.  I’m not afraid of the truth like those I dealt with in my case.  Remember the crap answer you gave to the Town of Oakville – fortunately the Building Director knew it was crap, unlike the Mayor.

Here is the story of one Mattamy buyer in Ottawa.

Posted by “ripped off badly” June 23, 2011
1- Mattamy Homes Ottawa started the sales for a new site in Orleans (Summerside) in late September 2010.

2- Given that I have been saving for the down payment for a new house and waiting for Mattamy’s new site in Orleans, I was the second customer in line when they
opened the doors to their sales office in Orleans on Saturday at 07:00 AM.

3- On the first day of the commencement of sales, I purchased and signed a sales agreement for lot number 30 for closing on May 2012.

4- The required down payment was $25, 000.00. I paid the first two cheques to a total of $15, 000.00 (copies of cashed cheques are available)

5- Before the cashing of the third (final) cheque dated for December 2010, I communicated with Mattamy to explain a difficult situation I was going through
and I ensured their understanding and acceptance to hold off the remaining payment until March 2011. I also ensured Mattamy’s customer services
understanding that I will not be available/accessible until March 2011. -Copies of communication with Mattamy’s customer services representative are
available and will be presented to Court.

6- Later, when I contacted Mattamy again, a different customer services representative indicated to me that Mattamy decided to re-sell my lot after
Mattamy’s lawyer decision to annul my purchase agreement – contrary to my last communication and agreement with Mattamy’s customer services – and forfeit my life savings money ($15, 000.00) which I have already paid to Mattamy.

7- Then I was informed that Mattamy has resold the same lot to another buyer at a higher price within weeks after annulling my agreement.

8- I am now left empty-handed, I lost my life savings and lost the house I intended to purchase. I lost $15, 000.00 to this big corporation (Mattamy) because Mattamy seized my $15, 000.00, did not honour their customer services’ agreement with me to hold off the last payment and furthermore, they are refusing to return my
$15, 000.00 down payment.

9- I ask Mattamy Homes to return my $15, 000.00 life savings down payment.

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirement when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed.

May 17, 2011

Self Serving Press Releases – Mattamy speciality

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Awhile back, the Oakville Beaver must have had a slow news day and, for filler, they used an article titled: “Mattamy receives kudos for building homes and communities“.

This was a report on the BILD awards Mattamy recently scored and the article spoke on some of the reasons for the win.  They also mentioned the donations Peter Gilgan made in 2010 to enhance his rep.  Now, with the press releases by BILD and Mattamy, this can be considered news I guess and we all like to hear “good news” stories instead of the usual death and destruction we are continually bombarded with.  But, my attention was drawn to this “press release propaganda” by the fact that I notice that not much bad news about Mattamy gets printed by our local rag.

I would have thought it newsworthy when Mattamy was forced to stop construction in Milton when they tried to build on toxic land.  Or, news when they were convicted of tampering with our environment in Ottawa with the illegal berms.  Yes, it was reported eventually in a Ottawa paper, about a month after it was reported in my blog.  Little old and stale by that time.  I would have thought it news if my complaint made it to Oakville Town Hall.

Kind of a Goliath and David story.

I know the press were there but I guess a well-known builder doing illegal electrical work and putting children’s lives at risk isn’t newsworthy enough for our local investigative reporters.  Not like our recent scandal with the Liberal party getting donations from our Town Council – or so says the complaint put forth by MP Terrence Young.  It certainly made the news but certainly not life threatening.  Actually for some, I doubt they care and those that do, I just wonder if they support Mattamy and their illegal acts?

Yes, when it comes to the press, I find they really don’t report all the news – just that which doesn’t affect their advertising dollars.  I guess the Beaver is looking for some loose cash from Mattamy for some advertising revenue.

Me, I think of it as blood money.

In the media, our jobs should be to get the information out there for the greater good of everybody – let’s get the problem fixed as quickly as possible so fewer people are impacted by it.

Joe Duarte

“Passing Lane”

TorontoSun

February 27, 2011

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* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from. Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality. We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on. My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirment when buying a house, new or old from any builder. My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life. Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed but do not preclude what happened to me from happening again. Beware.

April 15, 2011

Oakville politics – mirroring Chicago ward battles. Mattamy – your thoughts?

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With the Canadian Federal election campaigns going full-bore, one wonders where all the money comes from to pay for all the expenses.  Yes, we have legitimate funding, such as from the Federal government itself but, we do wonder just who donates and who accepts.

In the last Oakville municipal election, former mayor Ann Mulvale, who was running against incumbant Rob Burton, made a point of stating she was not accepting any funding or donations from the “Development Community”.  Although readers of this blog remember a picture of good old Peter Gilgan of Mattamy Homes standing beside (behind) her at one of her events.  Just a personal friend I guess.

Supposedly, those running for election are to keep track of all monies, donations, etc that come to them for their election campaign and, they must submit this list.  Failure to do so on time results in them not being able to run in the next election.  Supermodel Enza falls into this category for the Toronto elections.

I know in Ann Mulvale’s previous life as mayor of Oakville, she spearheaded a fundraising for Wellspring and Mattamy Homes, a major developer in the area, came to the rescue.  Interestingly, it was the same time my complaint against Mattamy was before the Town. 

Guess what happened to it?

I recently read an article where politicians and donators could get around the reporting legislation. 

Quite easy actually. 

Big boss wants to support a politician but is limited in the amount he/she can give or, doesn’t want to show up as a supporter when they are lobbying for something. 

What do they do? 

Give their employees money to donate as individuals and then reimburse the employee.  Not bad. 

Maybe we should pass legislation that states that those who donate to a politician’s campaign should list where they work.  Crap, I forgot.  It’s the guy getting the donation that has the power to pass the legislation. 

Guess that won’t happen.

Maybe we should be looking into just who supports our federal candidates and to the tune of how much.  Might be interesting to then note just how they vote on matters.

I read one Tweet that alluded to Oakville politics becoming much like a Chicago ward battle.

Boss Gilgan.  Has a nice ring, doesn’t it Peter.

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